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Ken Burns sets Confederate flag lovers straight: It’s about ‘slavery slavery slavery’

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Historian Ken Burns reminded supporters of the Confederacy on Sunday that the Civil War had been primarily about slavery, and not states’ rights as many conservatives have claimed.

“You know, when the Constitutional Convention happened, there was a man named John J. Chapman, who said slavery was like a sleeping serpent,” Burns told CBS host John Dickerson. “It lay coiled under the table during the deliberations; thereafter, slavery was on everyone’s mind, if not always on his tongue.”

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“You know, we’ve grown up as country with a lot of powerful symbols of the Civil War in popular culture that would be ‘Birth of a Nation,’ D.W. Griffiths’ classic, and ‘Gone with the Wind,’ of course,” he explained. “And in that, it postulates, among other things, both films, that the Ku Klux Klan, which is a homegrown terrorist organization, was actually a heroic force in the story of the Civil War. So it’s no wonder that Americans have permitted themselves to be sold a bill of goods about what happened, oh, it’s about states’ rights, it’s about nullification, it’s about differences between cultural and political and economic forces that shaped the North and the South.”

But Burns recommended that Americans read South Carolina’s Articles of Secession to get the real story on why the states went to war against each other.

ALSO SEE: 60 years ago today, Emmett Till whistled at a white woman — and he was executed for it four days later

“[T]hey do not mention states’ rights. They mention slavery, slavery, slavery,” he pointed out. “And that we have to remember. It is much more complicated than that, but essentially the reason why we murdered each other — more than 2 percent of our population, 750,000 Americans died; that’s more than all the wars from the Revolution through Afghanistan combined — was over essentially the issue of slavery.”

According to Burns, the racism running through the DNA of America was still present in modern day politics.

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“The main American theme, I think, is freedom,” he noted. “But we also notice that race is always there. Always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime and sets in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.”

“And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society,” he continued. “And what we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another politer way of saying the N word. It’s just more sophisticated and a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.”

“What’s actually ‘other’ and different about him? It turns out it’s the same old thing. It’s the color of his skin.”

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Watch the video below from CBS’ Face the Nation, broadcast August 23, 2015.

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Michigan governor blames GOP and ‘separation of church and state’ on failure to ban megachurch gatherings

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said on Sunday that Republicans were to blame for an exemption that allows churches to gather in groups of 50 or more during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whitmer told Fox News Sunday guest host John Roberts that GOP lawmakers contacted her after she issued an executive order on Monday banning gatherings of 50 or more.

"One thing that kind of puzzles me is that you have limited groups of people to 50 or fewer," Roberts explained. "Yet, there is an exemption for places of worship. Why would a place of worship be any less likely to transmit diseases in a larger gathering than another place?"

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White House press secretary screams at reporters to get out as Trump refuses to answer virus questions

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on Tuesday raised her voice at reporters who were trying to ask questions of the President of the United States.

Reporters invited in to the president's meeting with insurance company CEOs hoped to ask him about the COVID-19 outbreak. Instead, members of the press were treated to a photo-op.

"Let's go!" Grisham repeatedly shouted as members of the press tried to ask questions of the president. "Press, let's go!"

In the end, no reporters were able to get a reply from the president before being forced to leave the White House Cabinet Room.

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Woman told to ‘shut up, sit down’ after she asks Kellyanne Conway why Trump wants to cut Medicare: report

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At an event with White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday, a woman was told to "shut up" after she accused President Donald Trump of wanting to cut Social Security and Medicare.

The confrontation occurred during Attorney's General William Barr's rollout of an elder fraud program in Tampa, Florida while Conway was speaking.

Tampa Bay Times correspondent Anastasia Dawson reported that the woman was told to "shut up" and "sit down." According to reports, Conway did not directly answer the woman's question.

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